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The reason Voldemort hated his Muggle father was because his father left his mother to die when she was pregnant.

But, later, Dumbledore discovered that Voldemort's father was actually a victim. Voldemort's mother actually raped him with the help of a love potion (and, that's how she got pregnant).

Did Voldemort know this fact? Or, did he kill his father and continue to hate him out of misconception?

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    I thought Voldy hated old Tom because he was a muggle, and not because he abandoned Merope and baby Voldy. – Shreedhar Feb 12 at 13:36
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    @Shreedhar That's actually the other way around. Voldy hated muggles because his father was a muggle. – Umbrella Corporation Feb 12 at 14:13
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    Uhm, where was THAT in the books? Did JK Rowling cook up something new or is my memory failing me? – Hobbamok Feb 13 at 15:22
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    @Hobbamok I'm pretty sure this is all covered in the sixth book (though it doesn't actually use the word "rape"). – Anthony Grist Feb 13 at 16:00
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    @Hobbamok I believe love potions are so common a trope in fantasy literature that it is easy as a reader to gloss over the fact that their real-world equivalent is a rape drug, or perhaps an aphrodisiac. Also a lot of instances of love potions are in childrens' literature, which means sex isn't the goal, just mutual affection. – Nacht Feb 13 at 22:52
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It likely wouldn't have mattered. Psychologically, humans can hold entirely contradictory thoughts about the same subject. A good example, and somewhat analogous in this case, consider white supremacists. On the one hand, they're prone to believing how white Europeans are smarter and better than other people on the planet. But, at the same time, they think that Jews/non-whites secretly control everything and run it behind the scenes with elaborate, highly-sophisticated organizations. When you think about it, seems sort of contradictory to believe those two things, doesn't it?

So it could easily be the same for Voldemort. "My Muggle father left my mother to die." "My Muggle father was weak and fell victim to a simple spell." Simple enough rationalization to justify his hatred and loathing, even if someone looking at it objectively could understand that those two things could also be stated as "My magic-using mother raped an innocent man who left his abuser in disgust when he could."

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    What you said is inherent in the second last sentence of the question (he killed his father knowingly). You just elaborated the question. You didn't answer: "Did he know?" – Umbrella Corporation Feb 12 at 17:59
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    @BabyYoda I agree. This is a great explanation how both possibilities exist (Voldemort might've known, but acted nonetheless), however, the actual question is still left completely unaddressed. – Malcolm Feb 13 at 10:43
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    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." – Mindwin Feb 13 at 18:08
  • That's exactly where my mind went too, though the exact shape of the rationalization I envisioned was closer to "if my father wasn't a muggle he wouldn't have been vulnerable to this kind of stuff (and thus I would have never been abandoned by my father and grown up to with a dysfunctional lack of love and care for others as a protective mechanism for me being deeply hurt due to a lack of feeling loved and cared for)", with the part in parentheses never quite reaching conscious self-awareness, but underpinning the motivating emotions. – mtraceur Feb 14 at 1:15
  • Plus Göring famously said 'I decide who is a Jew'. And there was an SS - Emil Maurice - who was a Jew (despite Himmler's objections - Hitler overruled him). Then there were the privileged Jews. There are many, many other examples. And that's just one regime. – Pryftan Feb 16 at 16:41
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He probably concluded that his father was "bewitched" or "ensnared" but this is a long way from recognizing his father as a victim. In chapter 17 of Half Blood Prince, Tom Riddle Jr. is questioning his uncle, Morfin Gaunt:

"I thought you was that Muggle," whispered Morfin. "You look mighty like that Muggle."
"What Muggle?" said Riddle sharply. "That Muggle what my sister took a fancy to, that Muggle what lives in the big house over the way." said Morfin.

Tom Riddle seemed to value his mother more than his father, as shown in Chamber of Secrets:

You think I was going to use my filthy Muggle father's name forever? I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother's side? I, keep the name of a foul, common Muggle, who abandoned me even before I was born, just because he found out his wife was a witch?

Here he seems to think the only reason his Muggle father left Merope Gaunt is because she was a witch. That was enough for Voldemort to side against Riddle Sr. Furthermore, Voldemort was raised in an era where men were not typically viewed as victims in cases of sexual assault. He appealed to the traditionalists in wizarding society, which further narrows the chances of him recognizing his father's situation.

To recognize his father as a victim goes against Voldemort's character. If he knew Tom Riddle Sr. was taken against his will, it would not have earned him any sympathy.

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    To add to your last point, you have to remember that Rowling's magical world is one where date rape drugs are not only legal, but encouraged for use in a high school setting. According to Rowling Voldy's mother did nothing wrong. – GreySage Feb 13 at 16:43
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    @GreySage Sorry, where is it encouraged? I remember the love potions popping up a few times, but only in reference to Fred and George and Voldermort's parents – GammaGames Feb 13 at 20:12
  • @GreySage - By all appearances, that "according to Rowling bit" is incorrect. – Adamant Feb 14 at 0:45
  • @Adamant That quote doesn't do anything to invalidate my comment. Really, it reinforces it by her refusal to outright condemn love potions. While obviously her characters aren't her herself, no one forced her to use rape as a punchline, and especially not to mock and ridicule male rape survivors. – GreySage Feb 14 at 16:33
  • @GreySage - Your comment says that Rowling claims that Merope did nothing wrong. Not only can I not find any instance of her saying that, I link to a quote where she says that it was coercion. If your argument is that she didn't go far enough, maybe it would make more sense to say that, because she never seems to have said what you're asserting. She's said a lot of other bad things, but that's not one of them, so far as I can tell. – Adamant Feb 14 at 20:12

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